Software systems have grown more and more complex over the years, driven by diverse trends such as decreasing size of computing devices, the telecommunication revolution, growth of the internet, diversity of users and uses of software and increasing globalization. The purpose of software architecture has been to enable software-based systems to achieve desired current and future functions with least amount of complexity. The fundamental qualitative objectives of scalability, reliability, efficiency, adaptability, configurability etc. have remained relevant. However, software architectures have been continuously evolving to achieve these objectives in newer, more complex contexts. Distinct stages can be observed on this evolution journey, namely routine-based, function-based, object-based and service-based architectures, each with their distinct principles, rules and structures and corresponding differences in usage and behavior.
This paper uses the TRIZ laws of system evolution as a base framework to analyze the evolution of software architectures. The paper further deliberates on the movement of software architectures to the next stages on the laws and lines of system evolution. In combination, these movements point to a possible quantum leap in the evolution journey. Key principles, rules and structures of the next software architecture avatar are derived from TRIZ laws and lines of system evolution. A specific software system is used as an example to visualize a potential roadmap from current to next level architecture and the impact thereof.
Karthikeyan (Karthik) Iyer is a Founder / Director of an innovation co-creating firm, Crafitti Consulting Pvt. Ltd. He has more than a decade of experience in the IT industry and has consulted on innovation in processes, product strategy, technology, intellectual property and organizational innovation capability. His areas of interest include innovation culture and chaos theory, open innovation, inventive principles and technology evolution trends. Karthik holds a Bachelor‟s Degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Mumbai, India and a Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights Law from the National Law School India University. Contact Karthikeyan (Karthik) Iyer at karthikeyan.iyer (at) crafitti.com.